ABI Leaders Named to Future Ready Iowa Panel - Monday Memo 10/31/16

October 31, 2016

Schaefer-Weaton, Others Appointed to Future Ready Iowa Alliance

Last Monday, Iowa Governor Terry E. Branstad announced appointments to the Future Ready Alliance (which met Friday). The Governor has charged the Alliance with developing systems and procedures to accomplish the goal of an Iowa workforce with 70 percent having education or training beyond high school by the year 2025.   The Alliance is being chaired by Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds and Principal CEO Dan Houston (Principal, Des Moines).  

Well over twenty percent of the Alliance appointees are ABI leaders/partners! There are too many ABI leaders/partners to name them all, but several ABI board members are on the list.  That group includes ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield), former Chairs ABI Mary Andringa (Vermeer Corporation, Pella) and Charles Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield), and ABI Board member Steve Dust (Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, Waterloo)

For the Alliance to be successful in its work, it needs strong private sector leadership. We thank the Governor for making sure that is the case.  And thank you to all the Alliance members. 

Myron Linn Appointed IWD Deputy Director

You know that former ABI Chair Myron Linn (Pella Corporation, Pella) is a longtime association leader.  During the last legislative session, ABI successfully coaxed Myron out of retirement to be a part of our award-winning public policy team. 

Well, that won't happen again, because Friday, Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend appointed Myron to serve as Deputy Director of IWD. Myron is the perfect choice for the position: he is knowledgeable, he is fair, and he is respected by all.  All of us at ABI wish Myron the very best; congratulations, Deputy Director Linn! 

ABI To Help Lead Healthiest State Initiative Project

Tomorrow, on the campus of Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, officials with the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative will unveil plans for an expanded health, wellness, and community development program.  ABI will play a leading role in the new program, especially as it relates to a healthy workforce.  

Along with Cedar Rapids City Manager Jeff Pomeranz, I will chair an effort to build healthier workplace lifestyles in Iowa. Watch for more information soon. 

Final ABI Board Meeting of 2016 Next Week

The final board meeting of the calendar year will be held a week from Wednesday.  The November meeting is an important one for ABI and it is typically one of the best-attended meetings of the year.  

The ABI Board of Directors, chaired by Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield), will convene at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 9.  The board will meet at ABI headquarters in Des Moines' East Village.  You can register for the board meeting at https://www.cvent.com/c/express/ca0b71fa-8ede-4112-a277-bf77e2afef36

As noted above, the November board meeting is an important one.  Members will work through a very full agenda of reports and action items. Look for the usual packet of reports and materials to help you prepare for the meeting to arrive in your email in-basket later this week.  

By the way, a board member recently mentioned to me that it was nice that the board meetings were enjoying strong participation. He indicated that wasn't always the case.  

As I replied to the comment above, strong board participation is much more than nice.  In fact, your participation in board meetings is all-important.  Our association needs your leadership and it is board leadership that has made the difference in ABI's growth and return to prominence. Thank you in advance for your attendance and participation in next week's meeting. 

Leadership Iowa to Hold Second 2016-17 Session in Sioux Center; LIU Board to Meet

The ABI Foundation's 2016-2017 Leadership Iowa class is comprised of a terrific group of Iowans.  The class will meet for its second session beginning Wednesday of next week in Sioux Center, Iowa. This session will focus on agriculture and renewable energy.  

In other Foundation-related news, the members of the Board of Directors of the Leadership Iowa University program will meet later today. The current LIU class will meet again after the first of the year. 

SBDC Board Will Meet

ABI has long supported the work of Iowa's Small Business Development Centers and the assistance those centers provide to Iowa business.  Part of that support has been through being represented on the Iowa SBDC Board of Directors. 

That panel will meet next Wednesday at Iowa State University in Ames.  As always, watch future editions of this bulletin for news of any developments.

Register now for Connecting Statewide Leaders Event in Pella

As you know, the first 2016-2017 Connecting Statewide Leaders event will be held December 8 in Pella.  This forum is the next opportunity to participate in the popular series of events ABI has hosted around Iowa over the course of the past few years.  A luncheon follows the meeting and you will have a great opportunity to visit with fellow ABI members, meet the new Leadership Iowa class, and develop new customers.  

I look forward to seeing you at event in Pella. You can register for the event and find more information at http://www.cvent.com/events/connecting-statewide-leaders/event-summary-7817a4487a5644d1880274b2a27d280f.aspx.  

Vermeer Webpage/Video Captures Manufacturing Day Activities

Longtime ABI member Vermeer Corporation produced a webpage and video highlighting activities related to Manufacturing Day.  It is a terrific production and you can see it here: http://www.vermeerimpact.com/educating-our-future-workforce.  Congratulations to everyone at Vermeer, including former ABI Chair Mary Andringa (Vermeer Corporation, Pella) and ABI Board Member Vince Newendorp (Vermeer Corporation, Pella)

Annual Lind Study Conducted

Every year, ABI member David Lind (David P. Lind Benchmark, Clive) and his firm conduct a study of employer benefits in Iowa.  This year's study, the 18th annual study, is now available. 

The study is the definitive report on benefits provided by Iowa employers.  You can find more information at http://dplindbenchmark.com/.  Thank you, David, for this important information. 

Krista Tanner Highlighted by bizTimes Magazine

bizTimes is the name of the business magazine that covers the Tri-State Region of Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. The October 2016 edition of the magazine marks the publication's 25th anniversary. 

While marking this major anniversary, the publisher contacted several business leaders to write essays about their industry. One of those leaders is ABI Board Member Krista Tanner (ITC Midwest, Des Moines).  In an interesting column, Krista outlined the many changes in her industry and noted some anticipated changed that might happen during the next 25 years.  Please contact me if you would like to read the essay for yourself.  In the meantime, congratulations on the great coverage, Krista! 

White, Pray, Lande Celebrate Birthdays

One current board member and two former chairs of ABI are celebrating birthdays.  Former ABI Chair Dick White (John Deere, Ankeny) and ABI Board Member Jack Pray (Reynolds & Reynolds, Des Moines) are celebrating birthdays today.  

Another ABI board member is also celebrating. Former ABI Chair  Roger Lande (Stanley, Lande & Hunter, Muscatine) will celebrate his birthday later in November.  ABI sends happy birthday wishes to Jack, Dick, and Roger! 

The Business of ABI: Moving Forward

You know that from time to time in these memos I like to provide information about ABI's internal operations, what I call the business of ABI. As you know, I believe ABI needs to operate as a business and provide value to its customers (ABI has customers, we just happen to call them members). 

Over the course of the past three weeks, I have driven over 2,000 miles across Iowa and visited literally all four corners of the state. That's great, because visiting ABI members is the best part of any ABI staff member's job.  

One thing that is clear from those visits is that one part of what you all do in leading your companies is always move forward. You are always innovating, always meeting new demands, always providing value.  ABI sure needs to do that as well.  

Over the years, you have allowed us to try new things. Some have worked very well and grown (Elevate Advanced Manufacturing and BizWize and Leadership Iowa University and the Iowans for Jobs Initiative and many others).  Some have grown and we have spun them off to flourish on their own (VentureNet Iowa and others).  Some have not worked as well, or others are doing them better, so we stopped doing them (ABI Jobs Fair).  The point is that by following your example and with your leadership, ABI continues to enjoy growth and increase.  THANK YOU.